• NATHANIEL KOLOC

    professional bio

  • NATHANIEL KOLOC

    People & Talent Strategist

    I build powerful teams.

     

     

    I work on projects, ventures, and political campaigns seeking to make people's lives better.

     

  • WORK

    Talent is my craft.
    I love building teams and tuning them to perform at their best.

     

    I've designed and built systems that have hired over 5,600 people at 100+ organizations, based on extensive research on key elements of effective team building & management.

     

    KEY COMPETENCIES

    talent strategy - executive search - hiring process design - recruiting ops - team performance

     

    Building powerful teams.

    Boutique consultancy founders and executives at growing companies, delivering upgrades across the people operations stack: recruiting operations, people team design, installing team performance systems, diversity equity & inclusion work, and more.

    Committee to Elect Alessandra Biaggi

    Campaign Chair | 2018

    I chaired the Committee to Elect Alessandra Biaggi, State Senator for New York's 34th Senate district (the Bronx & Westchester).

     

    As chair, I oversaw campaign strategy, team structure and hiring, as well as budget. Alessandra won the Democratic primary on September 13, soundly defeating a 14-year incumbent who outspent us by factor of 10:1. She went on to win the general election with 77% of the vote.

     

    During the campaign Alessandra was endorsed by over 80 grassroots groups, labor unions, elected officials, community boards, the New York Times, the Daily News, and United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

    SVP People | Feb 2017 - Dec 2018

    The Future Company was an entrepreneurial R&D organization dedicated to inventing bold new companies, policies, ideas, and movements to improve quality of life for people in the United States. The company was an experiment owned by its predecessor and cultural inspiration, The Future Project. The project ran out of funding in early 2019.

     

    As founding SVP People, I led our org design, people operations workflows, and recruiting work, growing the team to 35 people in just over a year. The team was made up of researchers, analysts, designers, storytellers, strategists, entrepreneurs, and operators.

     

    I also oversaw our pilot public policy research - the Enough project - which was a systematic examination of economic insecurity in the United States, including a feasibility assessment of various types of cash transfer programs (e.g. basic income) as a viable intervention. I'm always excited to talk shop about bold, data-driven public policy concepts. Tweet at me (@nathanielkoloc) if you'd like a copy of the Enough report!

    Hillary for America

    Director of Talent Acquisition & Development | 2015 - 2016

    I oversaw the recruiting operations & performance management systems for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. The $1B campaign operation hired over 4,500 staffers between our Brooklyn HQ and our 500+ field offices across the country. We had a particular focus on hiring a diverse staff, and were successful in creating the most diverse campaign team in history.

     

    In the end, we were not successful in delivering Hillary Clinton to the White House. Though the consequences of the 2016 election will be felt for many years to come, we can all work to forge a future for our country that is vibrant, optimistic, thoughtful, and inclusive.

    Cofounder & CEO | 2011 - 2015

    I cofounded ReWork, a mission-driven recruiting firm, to make it easier for talented people to build careers worth having while working on society's most pressing challenges. Since its founding, ReWork has supported tens of thousands of talented professionals with career design and job transitions, and has helped hundreds of mission-driven hiring managers make mission-critical hires for their teams.

     

    ReWork was acquired by Koya Leadership Partners in 2017.

    Career Experiments

    Misc Projects & Adventures | 2008 - 2010

    I spent the years after graduating college doing a wide range of work projects and activities, as I explored what types of work I found to be meaningful. During these years I did research and wrote business plans and for new ventures, secured $1.5M in grant funding for a few nonprofits, installed rain barrels and home energy efficiency upgrades, did construction work, led backcountry trail crews in US National Parks and ecotourism trips in Latin America, sold fudge at a CostCo in Florida, produced a coupon book featuring socially conscious companies in Pittsburgh, and started a moving company.

  • MUSINGS

    Some notes on questions and curiosities I've spent time mulling over.
    (If you have relevant content or thoughts to put on my radar, tweet me @nathanielkoloc)

    How should young professionals think about their career strategy?

    I very frequently get asked some very of the question "How can I advance my career?" from folks who are graduating college, or realizing they aren't happy in their first jobs. There's a lot written on this topic - most of it not especially insightful, so here is my advice...

     

    You should see your career as a grand experiment, where you're testing combinations of which work situations, roles, companies/organizations let you a) enjoy yourself b) do things you are very good at, and c) get paid well. You can read some more specific guidance of mine in Harvard Business Review a few years ago (How to Build a Meaningful Career and Build a Career Worth Having) - most of what's in these articles I still agree with. Most of what I would update has to do with pushing harder on the experiments aspect: Get really clear about what you think you know about what work you want to do (and in what setting), and then try to do that - but try to do it with as fast learning cycles as possible, i.e. side projects, side hustles, volunteering, even talking to people in another field - these are all underrated I think. They are much smarter ways of testing what you may want to do than interviewing and taking a new job in a new situation without having done preliminary "testing" and seeing promising results from that. Run this cycle of learnings and testing - don't forget to learn how to negotiate salary and charge what you're worth! - and never stop.

     

    Here are a few pieces of content that I think are smart and worth considering:

    • This series of essays by Mark Andreessen (pages 2-5) are pretty insightful, in my view.
    • This post by Elad Gil, which has similar themes, is also smart and worth reading.
    • This tweetstorm by Naval Ravikant is more philosophical, but full of insight.

    How can we make sense of national politics in the United States?

    I spent the first half of 2017 trying to understand how we wound up with Donald Trump as our President. Obviously, a lot has been written in the time since then trying to answer this question. It's hard for me to summarize my current understanding of the current political context in a concise way, but here is some content I recommend for anyone who feels like they're still trying to process how we got here:

    • Read The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt
    • Read Fantasyland by Kurt Anderson
    • Read American Nations by Colin Woodard
    • Listen to (at least) the first 5 episodes of Jon Favreau's The Wilderness podcast
    (Incidentally, this is also the list of essential listening/reading I would recommend to anyone who is trying to design a winning campaign strategy for a 2020 Presidential campaign.)